Report on Federal Expenditures on Children through 2010, a fifth annual report, looks comprehensively at trends in federal spending and tax expenditures on children. This appendix details our data sources, the programs we include, and the methodology used to estimate the percentage of all expenditures that went to children.
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This appendix explains in detail the data and methodology used to estimate federal program and tax expenditures on children in our latest report, Kids' Share 2011: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children through 2010. It updates data appendices associated with earlier Kids' Share reports.1
Calculating government expenditures on children, as we do in the Kids' Share reports, is a complicated task involving many decisions, definitions, and assumptions about how federal dollars are spent. In this introduction, we provide an overview of our three-step methodology for estimating federal expenditures in each year. First, we define spending on children and identify programs with children's spending. Second, we describe the process of collecting expenditure data for the more than 100 programs and tax provisions included in our report, as well as the sources for these data. Third, we explain how we calculate the share of these expenditures that go to children. In addition, we explain the data and assumptions used to generate projections, briefly describe the sources for our state and local estimates, and specify the ways in which our methodology has changed from previous Kids' Share reports.
In the second section of this document, we present a summary table of expenditures in 2010 detailing the programs included in our analysis, estimated expenditures, and the share of the expenditure going to children. Finally, the majority of the data appendix (sections III-X) consists of descriptions of specific data sources, calculations, and methodological assumptions made in each program included in the report. These descriptions indicate any adaptations of our general methodology at the program level and identify specific changes in the calculation of estimates from previous years. We provide references by program, as well as a complete list of references in section XI. The web addresses cited in this document are current as of March 2011.
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